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Phthalates heighten risk for childhood asthma

Phthalates heighten risk for childhood asthma

Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health are the first to demonstrate an association between childhood asthma and prenatal exposure to two phthalates used in a diverse array of household products. Results appear online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives . Children born to mothers exposed during pregnancy to higher levels of the chemicals, butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) had a 72 percent and 78 percent increase in risk of developing asthma between age 5 and 11, respectively, compared with children of mothers with lower levels of exposure, the researchers found. Continue reading

Hypersensitivity to non-painful events may be part of pathology in fibromyalgia

Hypersensitivity to non-painful events may be part of pathology in fibromyalgia

New research shows that patients with fibromyalgia have hypersensitivity to non-painful events based on images of the patients’ brains, which show reduced activation in primary sensory regions and increased activation in sensory integration areas. Continue reading

No innocent bystander: Cartilage contributes to arthritis

No innocent bystander: Cartilage contributes to arthritis

Melbourne researchers have discovered that cartilage plays an active role in the destruction and remodelling of joints seen in rheumatoid arthritis, rather than being an ‘innocent bystander’ as previously thought. Dr Tommy Liu, Professor Ian Wicks, Dr Kate Lawlor, Dr Ben Croker and colleagues from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute made the discovery while investigating the role of the protein SOCS3 in controlling inflammation during rheumatoid arthritis. The study was published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology Continue reading

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to target specific treatments to individual patients. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects one in 700 Australians, predominantly young and middle aged women. Continue reading

Reversal of type 1 diabetes in mice may eventually help humans

Reversal of type 1 diabetes in mice may eventually help humans

Investigators at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found a therapy that reverses new onset Type 1 diabetes in mouse models and may advance efforts in combating the disease among humans. The study, led by William Ridgway, MD, was presented Saturday, June 14, 2014, at the American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco. Continue reading

Biomarkers predict long-term outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Biomarkers predict long-term outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Data presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) demonstrate the possibility of using biomarkers (developed from whole blood gene expression profiles) in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to predict the status of their disease at 12 months. Continue reading

Sjögren’s Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack

Sjögren’s Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack

A new study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) showed a significantly increased risk of heart attack in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS), particularly in the first year following diagnosis. There was also a trend towards an increased risk for stroke. Continue reading

Higher health care cost burden of musculoskeletal conditions compared to other diseases

Higher health care cost burden of musculoskeletal conditions compared to other diseases

A new study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) highlights the increased health care costs associated with musculoskeletal conditions compared to other diseases. Health care costs were almost 50% higher for people with a musculoskeletal condition compared to any other singly occurring condition. This disparity remained high where two conditions co-existed, with health care costs still one third higher (36%) for those people with one of their two conditions musculoskeletal in nature, highlighting the significant impact of these diseases. Continue reading

Molecules involved in rheumatoid arthritis angiogenesis identified

Molecules involved in rheumatoid arthritis angiogenesis identified

Two protein molecules that fit together as lock and key seem to promote the abnormal formation of blood vessels in joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, who found that the substances are present at higher levels in the joints of patients affected by the disease. Their results are reported in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases . “Our results show, for the first time, that these two proteins — a receptor and its corresponding binding protein — play a key role in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis pathology,” said Shiva Shahrara, associate professor of rheumatology at UIC. Continue reading

Epigenetics alters genes in rheumatoid arthritis

Epigenetics alters genes in rheumatoid arthritis

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — It’s not just our DNA that makes us susceptible to disease and influences its impact and outcome. Scientists are beginning to realize more and more that important changes in genes that are unrelated to changes in the DNA sequence itself — a field of study known as epigenetics — are equally influential. A research team at the University of California, San Diego — led by Gary S. Continue reading